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Hamsters

Is it common for hamsters to eat each other? Why do they do this? My daughter had 2 of them and 1 ate the other--left nothing but its head.

 
hw1977

Asked by hw1977 at 11:07 PM on Jan. 9, 2009 in Pets

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Answers (9)
  • Yes, it is very common. Hamsters are solitary creatures as a rule and really only are to be kept together during mating (which is not recommended since you then have to separate the babies so they don't breed with mom and then find them all homes, etc). It is best to keep ONE hamster per cage. If you want to have two because you have more than one child, buy another cage, do not keep them together. I worked in a pet shop for a long time and NEVER sold two together unless the people bought two separate cages.
    KTMOM

    Answer by KTMOM at 11:18 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • I've heard of mother hamsters doing it to their babies before (because of stress I guess).
    ReneeK3

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 11:10 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • umm no i have never heard of that . so i will never be buying hamsters
    jodi205

    Answer by jodi205 at 11:11 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • Wow! I am sorry to hear this. I'd never heard of it before, so I did some googling, and it appears that non-dwarf hamsters become aggressive toward each other if housed in the same cage and may well kill and eat the other.
    Bmat

    Answer by Bmat at 11:14 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • "they are very aggressive and solitary animals" is in another article that I read.

    "Syrian hamsters [the most common kind as pets] are solitary animals who must live in cages by themselves. Once they are around 5–6 weeks of age, they become territorial and start to fight with each other, so it’s best not to keep more than one Syrian hamster in the same enclosure. "
    http://www.quamut.com/quamut/hamsters
    Bmat

    Answer by Bmat at 11:19 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • Here's the thing--the per store sold them to us like that! They had 2 dwarf hamsters in a cute little pink cage with a wheel and everything--for 20 bucks! My daughter had b-day money to spend so it seemed perfect. I can't believe they sold them to us like that-you know they knew what would probably happen!
    hw1977

    Answer by hw1977 at 11:22 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • OMG, that gives me the willies. <---shuddering at the thot of canable hamsters. Wow, i too, did not realize that they would do this. Soo sorry. I hope your kids aren't too upset.
    lifeasinoit

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 11:24 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • normally they will do it if they are the same sex. And if it is a female and male the male normally will eat the female. I remember when I was a kid this same thing happened to me. I stuck them in the same cage because I wanted them to have babies and one of them ended up dead. Sorry
    JD08

    Answer by JD08 at 12:24 AM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • Yeah, this happens. Oddly it was my female who was the aggressive one. My male ended up being an amputee. :-(
    OneToughMami

    Answer by OneToughMami at 12:32 AM on Jan. 10, 2009